Case Description – T3 Innovation Demonstrations in Real Life & Virtual Reality

The City of Espoo (population 250 000) is the second largest city in Finland and is the innovation driver within the Helsinki Region. The city has gained international fame as a hub of know-how, research and development, at the heart of which stands
the Aalto University campus. Espoo is also a centre of international company headquarters and high-technology businesses. The city is developed in interaction with various partners. The most important resources of Espoo are its active inhabitants, educational institutions, communities and businesses. The goal is to make Espoo a pioneer in the municipal sector as well as a good place to live, learn and work in as well as engage in entrepreneurship. Espoo has the core interest to develop the T3-area (Otaniemi-Keilaniemi-Tapiola) to become both an effective operating environment that energizes people, and a globally unique orchestrated innovation ecosystem based on the mutual interaction of the university, companies, the public sector and the third sector.

Challenges and opportunities

The Case will focus on real life demonstrations and the practical implementation of processes and other activities needed for the T3 area further towards becoming a pioneering innovative city hub. The case group will also work in virtual reality in order
to visualize the T3 area, and the concepts and operations of these demonstrations. The key for the Case is creating continuity with the work done in ACSI 2010 and 2011, and the work done in T3 after those camps.

Main Objectives

The Case will address the challenge of defining concrete prototypes that can be put into practice in the next 6 months. Key questions for challenging the case group are:
1) How can we create living test-beds to prototype products, services and policies – prototyping spaces embedded in society and both physically and digitally anchored in the city – which engage people to actively take part in rapid prototypes that can be tested and improved in short cycles?
2) In what ways can a strong Knowledge Triangle of entrepreneurial students, researchers and business innovators leverage new ideas quickly into products and services to feed an innovation economy? How can we orchestrate enthusiastic business engagement in the prototyping process?
3) Where in the city – on-line and on the street – can we test and develop new products, service arrangements and policy options? What are the most effective testing processes? How can we decide what ideas to test? What are the appropriate locations, relevant methods, and most promising social and societal innovations to test?
4) How can living test-beds make a powerful contribution to creating an inclusive society in the T3 area?